Crisis Management Initiative

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CMI (Crisis Management Initiative) is an independent Finnish non-governmental organisation that works to prevent and resolve conflict through informal dialogue and mediation. Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari founded CMI in 2000. Since then, CMI has grown to become one of the leaders of its field. CMI has offices in Helsinki and Brussels, a presence in selected countries and is represented in the United States by the American friends of CMI.


CMI's programme is focused on making meaningful contributions to peace processes in three regions - the Middle East and North Africa, Eurasia and Sub-Saharan Africa. A strong focus on women's participation and gender-specific aspects of conflict is extensively integrated into all parts of CMI's work.

CMI helps to create spaces for negotiated solutions of violent conflicts by involving all relevant actors in the pursuit of sustainable peace. CMI facilitates dialogue, mediates between conflicting sides, provides capacity-building and mediation support at all stages of conflict management and peace processes, and uses its expertise to support the broader peace building community.

CMI's vision is based on the conviction that all conflicts can be resolved.


CMI's work rests on the principles of impartiality, local ownership, inclusiveness, coordination and complementartity.


As a dependable conflict resolution actor that is resolutely impartial between the various interests of the conflicting parties, CMI remains independent of all external political interests.

Local ownership[edit]

CMI supports locally and nationally owned peace processes. Peace cannot be outsourced or imported. By ensuring local ownership, CMI paves the way for the sustainability of the conflict resolution efforts.


Achieving lasting peace requires a broad involvement with the society and the involvement of the all relevant actors in the process. Inclusiveness is one of the key foundations of CMI's work.

Coordination and complementarity[edit]

Preventing and solving conflicts needs extensive and patient cooperation and coordination with other actors in the field for achieving impact for CMI's work.

The starting point for all CMI's work is human dignity, which rests on the legacy of CMI founder Martti Ahtisaari's lifelong work in peace mediation. A sustainable solution to any confict must include measures for ensuring the dignity of all those affected.


Nobel Peace laureate and former president of Finland Martti Ahtisaari founded CMI in 2000. After stepping down as the President of Finland that year, Ahtisaari declined the post of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees because he wanted to focus instead on addressing the root causes of conflicts. President Ahtisaari's long-term vision with CMI was to contribute to as much as effectively as possible to solving violent conflict throughout the world.

The main tasks of the organisation in its early years were to assist Martti Ahtisaari in his numerous international assignments, to participate in policy discussions, and to advocate capacity-building in civilian crisis management. This led to CMI taking its own projects, at first concerning crisis management and later on expanding to peace building and conflict resolution projects.

One of CMI's most visible assignments, the Aceh peace process began in late 2004. CMI and its chairman president Ahtisaari were asked to facilitate talks between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM).

In 2008 President Ahtisaari was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his leading role in bringing independence to Namibia, Sebia's withdrawal from Kosovo, and autonomy for Aceh.